And now, the inevitable freebies and boughtbies picture:
Vapor's Gambit looms pretty large, doesn't it? Have I mentioned the embarrassingly trite slogan: "Screaming Hoverboard Racing"? Incidentally, during our final epic five-player Vapor's Gambit game of the con, I took the opportunity to investigate some of the backstory. Turns out that the hoverboard track is called the gambit and I believe the city (or country, or planet) is called Vapor. Thus, Vapor's Gambit. Probably more on this one later.
There were two Fluxx promo cards available this year. One was specifically for Monty Python Fluxx called "Sir Not Appearing in this Game." He's a Knight of the Round Table Keeper and that's about it. The second one is a Creeper - "The Traitor," which plugs their new game - for I presume any version of Fluxx, and it lets you win instead when another person wins, which is pretty insane. Even for Fluxx. Fluxx is Looney Labs' cash cow, and I am glad that they keep issuing expandable promo cards to keep it interesting. I mean, they got my money for Fluxx about five years ago and they still keep giving me free cards. That's pretty cool.
Scavenger Hunt card game... I'm pretty enamored of it, although when we played it Mike was supremely disappointed in the balance. Everybody plays as a different predator with different abilities, and Mike's Vulture seemed woefully outmatched compared to the others. Although he damn near won. More on this one later as well.
The big red-and-blue dice came from the kids activity room. At certain points of the day, they called names to win prizes and that was what Clark won. He likes them. In fact, he made a game with them already, which I should outline for you guys when I get a chance.
Clark's huge pile of free Naruto / Dragon Ball / Yu-Gi-Oh cards is right beside the dice. Really. All free. Naruto and DBZ cards are all fairly recent, straight from the Bandai booth. The Yu-Gi-Oh cards all came from an old expansion called Cyberdark Everclear Wingman or whatever. The booth that was clearing out their Vapor's Gambit overstock was handing out these Yu-Gi-Oh packs to any child with arm's reach. They also gave us a couple of free Spanish flag magnets, for which I am still struggling to find a purpose.
There's that $9 Cthulu stuffed animal. I did not notice until after I bought it, but it did not have a tag on it... so is it some kind of Cthulu bootleg? Can the Cthulu aftermarket really be so large as to encourage ripoff plushie manufacturing? Legit or not, it was identical to the $20 Cthulus over at one of the most overpriced booths of the con. So, win for us. The overpriced booth was also selling Cthulus that were a quarter of the size of ours for $10. And also these handmade jobbies:
Clark really liked this little hand-crocheted beanie Cthulu. Rhonda was going to get him one until she heard the price: $12. Not that they weren't cute, and not that crocheting doesn't take a ton of time... but $12 is right out. Maybe if I was super into Cthulu and intended to keep this li'l Elder God on a shelf, frozen in time. Maybe. But as something that Clark would probably unintentionally unravel during some madcap Lovecraftian playtime? No way.
Seeing that $12 guy completely cinched our purchase of the $9 mega-monster.
So farewell to Origins 2009! We posed by the Zombies!!! booth again for you.
One more thing. Here's the Clark Room:
The Columbus Convention Center has a labyrinth of meeting rooms all named after famous explorers and such. Columbus, get it?
We found out that next year, Gen Con is August 5-8. This year, it is a bit later, which would not work for Mike's back-to-school teaching schedule. Gen Con is in Indianapolis, which would mean about a nine to ten hour drive. Our early estimates suggest that Rhonda and Clark would not go, so then Mike and I could carpool... but we'll see. Already I like Gen Con better because it has a hearty, beefy exhibitor/sponsor list.
I'd also like to get to PAX Boston next year, which is in March.
But all that aside, even if Origins 2009 is the last time we head out there, it will always be fondly remembered as "That Time We All Got Vapor's Gambit."